IT.Shavlik offers relief for patching Apple products

If you have not already heard, Shavlik has released a new version of IT.Shavlik that includes our latest engine
enhancements.   (For all you NetChk Protect users you are getting the new engine in NetChk Protect 7.8.)
This includes archive file support.  Along with support for more products we are finally going to wave
goodbye to painful support issues introduced by Apple installers back in Apple iTunes 9 and Apple QuickTime
7.6.4.  For more details on the issue you can read up on a previous post regarding the changes Apple made to
their installers.  I am going to walk you through the IT.Shavlik experience so you can see how easy it is to
patch your systems using a SaaS Patching Solution.  This example is going to specifically look at a broken install
of the latest iTunes 10.1.2.

If you have not already you can register to a IT.Shavlik account and receive FREE Unlimited Patch and Asset
Scanning!!

I have a system with iTunes 10.1.2 which was install using the /passive /quiet switches.  Not AddRemove
Programs shows iTunes present, but you will see a later screenshot with more iTunes related services.

If I try to open iTunes or Quicktime in their current state I will get the dreaded AAS Error.  (If you have never seen it do a Google search and you will find many others who have.)

Let’s go and fix it right now using IT.Shavlik.

1 Login to IT.Shavlik and click on the FindIT button to discover machines.

2 Select your method for scanning machines. In my case I created a Machine Group which had the machine I had installed Apple on.

3 Once the scan completes you can select machines then on the right click FixIT (or click FixIT and select a machine group to deploy to in the FixIT Deployment window).

4 Note the iTunes and Quicktime patches.  Now these applications are both installed at the current versions on this machine, but since the AAS service is not present the Shavlik Engine knows it is a broken install and allows us to deploy the install once again.  Click on FixIT to deploy.

Patches will install.  May take a bit depending on how many you push.

5 Observe the Happy iTunes install on the target machine and sigh in relief that we will never have to worry about this issue again.  Apple Application Support and Apple Mobile Device Support are now both present and accounted for.  (Either service not being present would result in an inoperable iTunes)

Happy Patching Everyone!

Regards,

Chris Goettl
Product Owner
Shavlik Technologies

AUTOMATIC Home Office and Small Business Patching

Every few weeks, we get an email from a small business or home user with a small slug of machines they want to make sure are patched. It awesome to see everyone care about patching, but implementing a routine patching plan is sometimes a tough thing to do. All of the emails we see always say something to the effect of:

  1. Patching isn’t fun, but I know it needs to get done.
  2. How do I do it in a non-intrusive way?

 
After thinking about this issue for quite some time, we now have a great answer. On Tuesday this week, we’ll be announcing the release of IT.Shavlik’s Site Manager. Site Manager is designed for the Small office IT administrator or home user who wants to patch, but not have to think about logging into the IT.Shavlik site to scan and deploy patches.  — We automate the entire process for you using your existing IT.Shavlik credentials.

The concept of Site Manager is simple; set it, and forget it. We want to make it so you can download the patching app once, set it up on one computer in your office, and then Site Manager takes over. In Site Manager, we’ll find the machines you can scan on your network, you can set a time for those machines to be scanned, and when that time is crossed, we’ll take care of scanning all the selected machines, and patch them for you automatically. — If you want to view the results, they can either be retrieved online using your IT.Shavlik account, or alternatively delivered to you in a forthcoming release.

No longer do small businesses have to think about patching. — You’re a few clicks away from making the process automated.  Get started by registering via the  “Join IT Now” button on IT.Shavlik at http://it.shavlik.com and click “Forget IT”

When does the cloud make sense?

If you talk with many small to medium sized businesses (SMB) about virtualization, unless they are a high-tech company many of them will tilt their heads sideways and deal you a “huh?” response.  The technology, although now mainstream at high-tech companies and enterprises is still facing an adoption curve as it moves down into SMB.  Not surprisingly, the “cloud” debate seems to be taking a path of a different sort.  – Starting with those SMB’s who are choosing to skip virtualization although and head straight for the cloud.

I was reading some articles recently, and came across an article on Redmondmag.com entitled “Survey: Cloud Benefits Not Clearly Defined” written by Keith Ward (10/14/2010:http://redmondmag.com/articles/2010/10/14/cloud-benefits-not-clearly-defined.aspx) which discussed the value proposition of Clouding and a specific survey cited as Hubspan which found a shockingly large number of business still trying to rationalize the cloud.  As he stated, the blog entry from Hubspan went on to say that perhaps the problem is we are supplying too much information around the cloud that, “it’s sometimes hard to break through the noise.” — A great observation.  Keith Ward, continues on to describe the fact that those companies that provide their software via the cloud need to do a better job of explaining why the cloud makes sense.  Again, a point I agree with whole-heartedly.

So now, let’s talk about why the cloud makes sense.  There are a few reasons that we’ve heard loud and clear from our loyal base of a few thousand IT administrators.  There are really two main scenarios that I hear time and time again:

  • I’m a SMB that hasn’t done much with virtualization, but we need to find a way to roll more applications out.  At the same time, the amount of infrastructure we manage is over-whelming.  We need to not have to manage so much.
  • I’m a bigger company that has an IT department serving many departments that require different applications and levels of lifecycle management.  To manage them through my department would be the end of me.

Sure, there are countless other examples of scenarios that are more specific, but when you look at it objectively, I’m seeing lot’s of SMB’s leap-frogging virtualization and going straight to the cloud, and the bigger organizations are doing it to manage diverging requests where virtualization will equate to massive amounts of VM-sprawl across their organization. – Thereby, it’s easier to do it in the clouds.  If one of these two scenarios fits your mold, perhaps it’s time you give it a look.

Even with these two value scenarios, I have to tell you the author of this article is dead-on.  Those of us that offer cloud applications or onboarding to the cloud need to be more explicit in delivering our value-proposition.  The cloud isn’t the panacea of IT. – It’s merely a distribution mechanism of computing that allows us to have to manage our equipment and processes less by virtue of attaching to someone elses world-class systems.